Salvation for Protestants?


#1

Is there any salvation for Prots if they do not convert to Catholicism? I am asking simply for clarification, not to justify staying Protestant. Do they barely get in, or not at all? Thank you. This will help in my future efforts to evangelize Prots.

Guy


#2

[quote=Guy Daniels]Is there any salvation for Prots if they do not convert to Catholicism? I am asking simply for clarification, not to justify staying Protestant. Do they barely get in, or not at all? Thank you. This will help in my future efforts to evangelize Prots.

Guy
[/quote]

It depends (as it depends for us all, no one has assurance). Only God can see into their heart and judge if they sincerely sought God’s Truth with an open heart. I am sure that there are protestants who reject the Church purely out of pride. They cannot admit she may be right. Likewise, I’m sure that many more are doing their best to find the Truth and so far that has led them to stay Protestant. Either way, we should always pray for them and do our best to help them to come home.


#3

Hi Guy,

The Church teaches that anyone can be saved if they do their best to please God and act according to their conscience.

It is however more difficult for Protestants to be saved because they do not have the help of the sacraments except the grace of baptism and the graces that accrue from a sacramental marriage. They are notably deprived of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

Verbum


#4

[quote=Verbum]The Church teaches that anyone can be saved if they do their best to please God and act according to their conscience.
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I think this is a misrepresentation of what The Church set forth in Vatican II. That falls almost in indiferentism and liberalism. following yoru conscience does not saves you, neither doing what you think that pleases God.

SOME may be saved by God’s mercy, specially those who die with no knowledge of the true Church. Depending on how much they follow the natural law. But those who knowinly reject it are not saved.


#5

From the CCC:

*818 . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church." *819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church.

Italics added.

Blessings,

Gerry


#6

[quote=Gerry Hunter]From the CCC:

*818 . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church." *819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church

Blessings,

Gerry
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I have read in an RC apologetics book that the eternal destination of the person is determined by the state of the soul at the point of death. Those who have unconfessed mortal sins wil be in eternal damnation. If this is correct, would it follow then, that those who don’t receive forgiveness through the Church’s requirement-sacrament of confession- would have these sins on their soul and have no hope for heaven? Are my assumptions correct or logic flawed?


#7

[quote=mj330]I have read in an RC apologetics book that the eternal destination of the person is determined by the state of the soul at the point of death. Those who have unconfessed mortal sins wil be in eternal damnation. If this is correct, would it follow then, that those who don’t receive forgiveness through the Church’s requirement-sacrament of confession- would have these sins on their soul and have no hope for heaven? Are my assumptions correct or logic flawed?
[/quote]

Catholics who die with unrepented mortal sin may face eternal damnation. People of other faiths who don’t even distinguish between mortal and venial sins, and who simply believe that Christ has redeemed them – who knows but God? He can and will save whoever He chooses to, and is not bound or confined by the sacraments of the Church. The sacraments of the Church do provide an ordinary means of obtaining graces and absolution – but they in no way trap God or prevent Him working outside the sacraments.


#8

I lost two loved ones of mine (both non-Catholic Christians) about a year before I made the decision to become Catholic. Indeed, their loss is one of the reasons I turned to God… no one else to turn to. But that fact that I turned to Catholicism, and did so in a very abrupt manner, keeps me wondering if their prayers for me from purgatory and/or heaven had something to do with it… that they were praying that I would find the true church. One of the reasons I converted is because I felt that I could not live a truely Christian life as protestant… they could, but I couldn’t. I definately would need the sacraments to pull me out of the fire. Of course, as a result of all this, I am now very devoted to praying for the Holy Souls.


#9

[quote=Guy Daniels]Is there any salvation for Prots if they do not convert to Catholicism? I am asking simply for clarification, not to justify staying Protestant. Do they barely get in, or not at all? Thank you. This will help in my future efforts to evangelize Prots.

Guy
[/quote]

Possibly even for those who leave the Catholic faith to become Protestants. We can’t judge the heart. Only God can. None of us has any guarantee of salvation. For all we really know life could end at death. We may have faith and hope that it does not, but no one really knows for sure…yes, even fundamentalist Bible Believing Born Again Protestants do not know for sure!!!


#10

[quote=Cherub]Catholics who die with unrepented mortal sin may face eternal damnation. People of other faiths who don’t even distinguish between mortal and venial sins, and who simply believe that Christ has redeemed them – who knows but God? He can and will save whoever He chooses to, and is not bound or confined by the sacraments of the Church. The sacraments of the Church do provide an ordinary means of obtaining graces and absolution – but they in no way trap God or prevent Him working outside the sacraments.
[/quote]

Yes, but isn’t there an absolute that either the Catholic teaching is correct or not? If the church teaches, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that those who have not obtained forgiveness for sins through the sacrament will not enter heaven, then those of the Protestant faith must not enter heaven. Please help me to understand.


#11

[quote=mj330]Yes, but isn’t there an absolute that either the Catholic teaching is correct or not? If the church teaches, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that those who have not obtained forgiveness for sins through the sacrament will not enter heaven, then those of the Protestant faith must not enter heaven. Please help me to understand.
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My understanding is that the Church teaches that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the normative way, but that God is not bound by His Sacraments and may act outside them.


#12

[quote=mj330]Yes, but isn’t there an absolute that either the Catholic teaching is correct or not? If the church teaches, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that those who have not obtained forgiveness for sins through the sacrament will not enter heaven, then those of the Protestant faith must not enter heaven. Please help me to understand.
[/quote]

There is something called invincible ignorance, I believe. If someone, through absolutely no fault of their own, does not know that confession is required, they may be ok. The thing is, invincible ignorance is a tough thing to judge. God is the only one who can really do this. Has the person acted in accord with God’s grace? Have they rejected the sacraments out of pride? Does the person truly desire the graces that the sacrament provides but is ignorant that the sacrament is the means of such graces? The best bet is to show everyone the truth and let them make an informed decision. Many people have hardened their hearts to God’s graces. When he nudges them towards the Catholic Church, they ignore Him. These souls are most likely in trouble.


#13

[quote=mj330]Yes, but isn’t there an absolute that either the Catholic teaching is correct or not? If the church teaches, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that those who have not obtained forgiveness for sins through the sacrament will not enter heaven, then those of the Protestant faith must not enter heaven. Please help me to understand.
[/quote]

The Church does not teach that the only way to obtain God’s mercy and forgiveness is through the sacrament. It does teach that the sacrament is the ordinary means.
Yes, the absolute is that the Church contains the fullness of Christian faith. But the Church was not designed to be a container for the living God. He is not kept within it like a bird inside a gilded cage. He can and does do plenty of things outside its ordinary boundaries. He is under no obligation to report to any human being or make explanation for His actions to us.
So, the Church contains the fullness of the faith, and through Her sacraments, God has given us a clear means by which to love and serve Him, but the sacraments are for our benefit, not for His regulation.


#14

[quote=Chickamauga]I lost two loved ones of mine (both non-Catholic Christians) about a year before I made the decision to become Catholic. Indeed, their loss is one of the reasons I turned to God… no one else to turn to. But that fact that I turned to Catholicism, and did so in a very abrupt manner, keeps me wondering if their prayers for me from purgatory and/or heaven had something to do with it… that they were praying that I would find the true church. One of the reasons I converted is because I felt that I could not live a truely Christian life as protestant… they could, but I couldn’t. I definately would need the sacraments to pull me out of the fire. Of course, as a result of all this, I am now very devoted to praying for the Holy Souls.
[/quote]

I can relate to this. I would not have been a Christian at all, let alone have eventually entered into the Catholic Church, if it hadn’t been for my devout Protestant grandparents. I accept EENS in the manner I believe it to be taught by the Catechism, that Protestants (at least those actively seeking to follow Jesus) are in “sure, though imperfect” union with the Catholic Church. I don’t believe that my grandmothers are in hell or that my grandfather will go there. They loved Jesus far too much. That said, when asked by Protestant friends or family about the claims of the Catholic Church or about my conversion, I tell them the truth: She alone contains the fullness of Christ’s Truth.


#15

[quote=Guy Daniels]Is there any salvation for Prots if they do not convert to Catholicism?

[/quote]

Most Catholics (I think) believe that Protestants of good will can be saved, and as well, people in other religions of good will can be saved. However, I have read various statements, (from before Vatican II), which seem to indicate that it would be difficult. But the teaching seems to have loosened up a bit recently. For example:

[left][left][font=Times New Roman]Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Session 8, Nov. 22, 1439, “The Athanasian Creed”: **“Whoever wishes to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. **Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without a doubt he shall perish eternally.”[/font][/left]
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Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino,1441, ex cathedra: **“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire **which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives…”

[font=‘Palatino Linotype’]Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio, May 27, 1832:“Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life**.”** [/font]

[font=Times New Roman]Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Iniunctum nobis, Nov. 13, 1565***:***[/font]

[font=Times New Roman] “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved… I now profess and truly hold…”[/font]

[font=Times New Roman]Pope Benedict XIV, Nuper ad nos, March 16, 1743, Profession of Faith: “This faith of the Catholic Church, without which no one can be saved, and which of my own accord I now profess and truly hold…”[/font]
[font=Times New Roman][/font]
[font=Times New Roman]Pope Innocent III, Eius exemplo, Dec. 18, 1208:“By the heart we believe and by the mouth we confess the one Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which we believe that no one is saved.[/font]
[font=Times New Roman][/font]
[left][font=Times New Roman] [/font]
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[font=Times New Roman] [/font]


#16

This is still true that no one is saved outside the Catholic Church. Some people are members of that Church whether they know it or not, however. Who is worse off, the ignorant jungle tribesman who follows the law of God that is inscribed on all our hearts or the dissident theologian who decides he knows better than the Church and therefore rejects one or more of her teachings?


#17

Hate to burst the bubble :

Pope Pelagius II (A.D. 578 - 590)

“Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord. …Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness. …Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned. …[If] slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church.” (Denzinger 246-247)

Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 - 604)

“Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.” (Moralia)

“Indeed, there is but one universal Church of the faithful outside of which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215; Denz. 151) “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved.” (Denzinger 423)
ect . .

take a look here for more horasaojeronimo.sites.uol.com.br/eens.html


#18

John 6:53,54 “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eatts My flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” I suppose that those who do not believe in the doctrine of the Real Presence will not have everlasting life?:hmmm:


#19

[quote=Genesis315] Some people are members of that Church whether they know it or not, however. Who is worse off, the ignorant jungle tribesman who follows the law of God that is inscribed on all our hearts or the dissident theologian who decides he knows better than the Church and therefore rejects one or more of her teachings?
[/quote]

I guess that this is what most Catholics believe as a way of getting around these preVatican II statements that we are reading in this thread: that “some people are members of the Church, whether they know it or not”, and so, they are saved. Another quote is:
Pope Boniface VIII in his Bull Unam Sanctam issued in 1302:

“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

I don’t know exactly how you would get around this statement.
Anyway, I find that most Catholics do not take these statements literally, or that they find some way of getting around them, so that in the end, Protestatns of good will and that generally, it is beleived that non-Catholics of good will are saved. I have seen it asserted that although they may be saved partially through their own merits, their salvation is somehow connected to the Church, although it is not clearly stated how this would be, especially since many nonCatholics the Church.


#20

[quote=A.Pelliccio]Hate to burst the bubble :

Pope Pelagius II (A.D. 578 - 590)

“Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord. …Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness. …Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned. …[If] slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church.” (Denzinger 246-247)

Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590 - 604)

“Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved.” (Moralia)

“Indeed, there is but one universal Church of the faithful outside of which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215; Denz. 151) “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved.” (Denzinger 423)
ect . .

take a look here for more horasaojeronimo.sites.uol.com.br/eens.html
[/quote]

It’s difficult to ascertain what kind of site the above link goes to. It could be a Feeny disciple. The CCC is our authoritative commentary on all Church teaching that came before it. It doesn’t deny Extra Ecclesiam Nola Salus, but it does expand upon it (ie, there are those united to the Church whether they know it or not or will it or not, ie., faithful Christians not formally united to the Church). Further, it teaches that those born into schism cannot be blamed for that schism. As JPII wrote, it is “a sure and certain norm” for teaching the faith.


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